Matt Wake, an entertainment reporter for AL.com, recently interviewed yours truly for “The Postponed Concert Blues,” a piece in which he chronicles the perils of concert cancellations and their effect on ticket purchasers. In our brief but lively conversation, we addressed Bruce Springsteen’s recent cancellation of his Greensboro, North Carolina show (to which I had tickets, which are depicted in the image above). Any discussion of artist cancellations must necessarily include Morrissey, who I once beheld in concert in 2007. However, on several subsequent occasions, the former lead singer of The Smiths thwarted my attempts to see him perform again by axing shows to which I held tickets. Of course, I lamented those fateful experiences to Matt, as well.
Here’s an excerpt of the piece which features some of my quotations:
Dedman was living in Greenville, S.C. when he saw Morrissey, the moody crooner formerly of ’80 British band The Smiths, perform there in 2007. “And he was great,” Dedman says. “He played (The Smiths’) ‘Death of a Disco Dancer,’ which was the one song I wanted to hear most of all. When you lose yourself in the moment like that and the songs that have transfixed you for so long are being played by the original performer, it’s just magic.” A couple years later, Morrissey was touring again and Dedman purchased tickets to see back to back shows in Atlanta and Asheville, N.C. He booked a hotel room and drove from Greenville to Atlanta to meet up with a friend there for the concert. The afternoon of the show Dedman and his friend went to that city’s High Museum of Art beforehand.
“So we’re just walking around the art museum and I get a text or a call from Ticketmaster saying that the show is cancelled,” Dedman, now 40, says. “And of course Morrissey has a reputation for cancelling. And I’m already there. I’ve already got the hotel room.” A message on the singer’s website indicated the show had been cancelled due to “illness.” The Asheville show was also cancelled. “So I’m out a hotel that night too,” Dedman recalls.
You can read the full article, which offers a handful of other anecdotes, here. If you’re feeling nostalgic for news of Morrissey, you can revisit the original Slicing Up Eyeballs coverage of his March 2009 tour woes here.
Many thanks to Matt for allowing me to share these memories with his readers. I first became aware of him five or so years ago when he worked as a writer for the Greenville News. I’ve followed him on Twitter for a number of years, and if you’re interested, you can do so as well at @MatthewBWake. By the way, he also owns Echo Records, a vinyl shop in Huntsville, Alabama, which I hope someday to visit.